Last Updated: September 14, 2023
A Nol Card is an e-ticketing card that you can use for different transport modes in Dubai. The public transport in Dubai includes the Dubai Metro, Dubai Tram, bus, and water bus. The Nol Card allows you to travel all of those with a single tap. You can also use the Nol Card for parking. Dubai’s Road Transport Authority (RTA) has 7 zones in total and the price for your route depends on the number of zones you cross during the trip.
Important Facts about Travelling in Dubai with a Nol Card
- Passengers cannot use cash to travel on Metros or buses.
- You have to maintain a balance of 7.50 AED minimum to make a trip. If the balance is lesser than 7.5 AED, you won’t be able to allowed to enter the gates of the metro.
- You would need to tap the Nol card at the gates of the metro or in the entrance for buses or tram while entering and exiting. The portal will automatically calculate the cost of your trip/journey based on the number of zones you have passed.
- Never forget to tap the card as there would be severe penalties.
- Children up to age five can travel free.
Types of Nol Cards
There are around four essential types of Nol Card available for tourists. The Silver Nol Card, Gold Nol Card, and Red Nol Card. Among these, the Silver Nol Cards and Red Nol Cards are most optimal for travellers.
Silver Nol Card
The cost of the Silver Nol Card card is 25 AED. This price includes a preloaded amount of 19 AED. If you are touring Dubai and going to stay there for more than five days, we strongly recommend getting this card.
Benefits of the Silver Nol Card
- This card is valid on all modes of transport
- The silver Nol card is valid for five years
- You can also get weekly pass along with Silver Nol card for 110 AED.
Insider Tip: Here’s a great Silver Nol Card + SIM Card package. It gets you a Silver Nol card and 2GB or 4GB SIM Card.
The Gold Nol Card is nearly the same as the Silver Nol Card. Like the Silver Nol Card, the Gold Nol Card costs 25 AED and also includes a preloaded 19 AED. The exception, however, is the Gold Nol Card provides access to Metro’s Gold Class cabin, and for each trip, the amount debited from the card is a bit more than the Silver Nol Card.
Benefits of the Gold Nol Card
- Access to Gold Class Metro seats
- This card is valid on all modes of transport
- Validity for five years
Red Nol Card
The Red Nol Card is best for occasional travellers. Unlike other Nol Cards, the Red Nol Card is a paper-based ticket. The cost of this card is 2 AED, and you can load the exact amount for the trip. The Red Nol Card is available at any ticket vending machine.
Benefits of the Red Nol Card
- Low ticket price
- Can be purchased from any ticket vending machine at any time
- This can be loaded up to a maximum of 10 Single Trips.
- Currently, this ticket can only be used in one mode of transport at a time.
Blue Nol Card
The Blue Nol Card is best for the residents rather than tourists, as this card comes at a cost of 110 AED.
Which Nol Card is best for tourists?
For tourists, we recommend buying a Silver Nol Card for best value and ease of use.
The Silver Nol Card comes with credit and can be used for five years. If you are a regular traveler to Dubai, then this one is for you. Otherwise, buy a Red Nol Card.
Where can I get the Nol Card?
- You can purchase Nol Cards from ticket offices located in all metro stations and some bus stations
- Silver Nol Cards and Red Nol Cards can be purchased from some Ticket Vending Machines
- You can also purchase Silver Nol Cards from RTA Customer Service Centres
How do I use a Nol Card?
You need to have a minimum balance of AED 7.50 on your card. Once you near the gates of Metro or the doors of the bus or water bus, place your Nol Card on the card reader. You will hear a beep or look for the green light. Pass through the gate or entrance. You need to do the same during the exit as well.
Are Nol Cards available for tourists?
Yes. You can have passes for one day, seven days, 30 days, 90 days, and one year. However, visitors are eligible for one day and seven days pass only.
One-day passes are available on the Red Nol Card for 20 AED. You can top up the Red Nol Card with up to five one-day passes but you need to get each pass on the day of travel, and it is only valid until midnight of the day of purchase.
Seven-day passes are available on Silver and Gold Nol Card for 110 AED.
The remaining passes can only be purchased on a Blue Nol Card or a registered Silver or Gold Nol card. Blue Nol Cards can be purchased by residents only.
Is a Nol Card required for Buses?
All travellers need to purchase Nol Cards before stepping on the bus. You need to scan this card at the start and end of the trip, to ensure you pay the correct fare. You will be charged the full fare if you don’t scan your Nol card before exiting.
How to recharge your Nol card online and check your Nol card balance?
If you swipe your card after finishing your ride, your Nol Card balance will be shown at the exit of the metro. You can also check the balance and recharge your Nol Card online from the official RTA website.
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